I know what you’re saying, “Who is this knucklehead?” Well, I’ll tell you.
This knucklehead is known to friends, family, and coworkers, and now ya’ll as Eric Burdette. For any of you that remember the old AOL college football chat rooms and subsequent various Gator sports message boards you may know me as the inimical gatorfaneze. That’s pronounced, gator fan easy e, in case you were wondering. You also may know me as GulfShores Gator or in my present incarnation Cantonment Gator. Honestly, I really don’t care what you call me, as long as you call me for Happy Hour.
But seriously, I’ve been watching, rooting, and analyzing Gator sports for over three decades. 35 years to be exact. In that time, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the down right ugly.
I was there in the O&B during Charley Pell’s first season 1979 when they were winless. In ’89 when it was Emmitt right, Emmitt left, Emmitt up the middle, and nothing else.
I was there riveted in front of the tv in 1980 when Buck Belue completed the improbable and totally infamous 93 yard touchdown pass to Lindsey Scott to break the hearts of Gator Nation for the seemingly millionth time.
I was also there when they broke the jinx in ’84 shutting out Georgia with that amazing goal line stand and the long Bell to Nattiel td pass. The resulting first SEC title that was subsequently taken away due to probation and some not-so subtle or secretive lobbying by Vince Dooley.
I was there through the championship years of The Ole Ball Coach, the headscratching Ron Zook seasons, and the Urban Meyer/Tim Tebow championship run.
I watched proudly during the Norm Sloan, Clifford Lett (a classmate of mine), Andrew Moten, Vernon Maxwell, and the late Dwayne Schintzius years as they brought Gator basketball from the depths of mediocrity to the big stage of The Big Dance.
The first Final Four run of Lon Kruger with Andrew DeClerq and “Da Meat Hook” Dametri Hill as well as the Billy Donovan championship era. I remember Billy “The Kid” playing for Rick Pitino at Providence when they went on their Final Four run the same tourney that Florida made their first trip to the Big Dance EVER and celebrated with a Sweet Sixteen berth.
I say all this to relay two things: I’m passionate about Gator sports and I am a fountain of knowledge.
Love me or hate me, my goal with HailFloridaHail is to bring you, the casual and the die-hard Gator fan, the very best in news, opinion, and analysis of Florida Gator sports. Additionally, I strive to provide links to a variety of sources across the spectrum of the worldwide web which give you the latest in news and information concerning college sports. All this and a hearty Go Gator!
Look to HailFloridaHail as your one-stop shop for all things Gators and all things college sports.
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Additionally, you can follow me on twitter at @burdette_eric.
It truly is great to be a Florida Gator!
Enjoy, and Go Gators!